Mr. Holmes and Other Cold-Hearted Heroes

The Many Friends of Sherlock Holmes

By Kersley Fitzgerald

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Continued from Page One

**Warning: Spoilers for Mr. Holmes**

But there is now a new Sherlock on the scene. In the movie Mr. Holmes, Ian McKellen's Sherlock has been retired to the country for thirty-five years. Facing increasing memory loss, he fights to remember the resolution of his last case — a case he deduces must have been a horrible failure if it resulted in his self-imposed banishment. On the outside, his life is pleasant. He has a housekeeper (Laura Linney) who is grouchy and wants to leave, and a replacement for Watson and Lestrade in her clever young son, Roger.
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24b
Mr. Holmes spends his days reading, teaching Roger how to keep bees, and fighting his failing health. Slowly, the story of his last case comes out. In the final confrontation, he was right. He understood the subject of his investigation in a way no one else had. But for once in his life, she understood him, as well. Then she asked him for something he'd never considered: a lasting, emotionally intimate human connection that would benefit them both. He considered, but he was a detective, and the case was solved. The game was over. No need to burden it with sentiment. Thirty-five years later, he remembered the outcome and what a horrible mistake it had been to reject that emotional bond.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
It is through logic that the younger Sherlocks, along with Walter and Kirsten and a slew of other fictional characters, solve crimes and even save lives. They walk through the world on a higher cloud, mostly untouched by sentiment and emotional need. In Mr. Holmes, that detachment is not a character quirk or a tool in the investigative arsenal, but the death-stroke of the persona carefully built. It is only by learning to care, vulnerably, that Sherlock's life, and heart, are saved.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
I think most of us would understand the advantages of being emotionally detached from the world. To be an expert at solving puzzles while not being expected to touch lives — it feels safe. But it's not how God made us. He made us for relationship. He gave us the members of the church to change us — improve us. Anxiety disorders and brain development disorders aside, God didn't intend for us to be proficient but cruel. Even if it seems such a lifestyle would bring accolades without the burden of emotional injury.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
It takes a similar humble vulnerability to come to Christ. To repent is to admit that we're wrong. To accept Jesus is to admit we can't live on our own skills and beliefs. In everything from salvation to day to day life, we need Him. But Jesus doesn't stop there. As much as the overly sensitive or introverts would prefer otherwise, it's through relationships that God grows us. He didn't create us to be robots. In that, Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock may be the most authentically human of the three primary examples. His intellect is less than useless without Joan, Gregson, Marcus, Kitty, and Alfredo to guard his heart. And as much as we might wish otherwise, the same goes for us.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Personal-Relationships

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Published 8-1115